1990 Merlin Titanium

Ryry_1985

BoTM Winner
Brodie Fan
I thought I’d start a thread with a sneak peek of the start of my new bike, a 1990 Merlin Titanium, serial number: 1519

This bike popped up on our local marketplace recently and I was lucky enough to have snagged the frame, headset, and booster after a change of hands a week after it sold. Initially, the poor marketplace photos only showed an early Merlin with a noodle and a rear U-Brake, which was totally intriguing. Upon arriving in the hands of another local vintage MTB enthusiast, a Kona chain stay protector and a Brodie U-Brake booster (and it being from Vancouver) pointed to it being a 1990 Merlin Titanium sold by Kona’s parent company, TBG.

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mk one

Retrobike Rider
BoTM Winner
Gold Trader
Kona Fan
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I used to ride my friends Merlin, still the best Ti frame i have ridden. Would like to try an older version like yours with the straight stays one day.

Look forward to seeing more pictures :cool:
 

Ryry_1985

BoTM Winner
Brodie Fan
I used to ride my friends Merlin, still the best Ti frame i have ridden. Would like to try an older version like yours with the straight stays one day.

Look forward to seeing more pictures :cool:
This is my first ti bike - I’m very excited for the maiden voyage. I think a friend mentioned the curved stay versions were a superior ride but seeing as I’ll not have that experience, l’ll be none the wiser 😅

Daytime photos will show if I’ve done anything silly while working in the dark on my balcony…
 

Ryry_1985

BoTM Winner
Brodie Fan
Weekend update:

I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped. Embarrassingly, I spend the better part of Friday evening in the ER due to a broken-drill-bit-meets-thumb incident. The ever dreaded m-732 shifter with damaged threads in the binding plate, coupled with a rounded out M6 screw caused some pain and the inability to work on the bike for some days to come. I’ll spare those photos but will share what progress I did make before the accident.

I worked on parts of the cockpit and drivetrain. It’s coming along nicely and I think it’ll ride to my liking. I know that reproduction tires aren’t for everyone but as this will be ridden often, I’m happy to have some reliable rubber. I suppose that if I come across a supple vintage set that suits the build, I’d pop those on but happy with the wheelset as it stands.

I’ve since removed the stubborn fastener and also found a less faded set of brake levers, so I guess tinkering in that department will come next and moving towards finishing up once I’m finished resting.
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